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Guildhall Reliefs

George Anderson Lawson

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The Bath Guildhall hall has on the two rounded corners a band of relief sculpture between first and second floor windows. At north end these are symbolic figures representing Sciences, Arts and various branches of Learning for the Technical Schools, and at south end they symbolise aspects of legal system and of administration of the City of Bath.

Southern wing

Description based on the Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette.

Bath - Guildhall Reliefs
Legal System and Administration, south wing, inaugurated June 1895.

Bath - Guildhall Reliefs Bath - Guildhall Reliefs
Left: Law represented by a male bearing an open scroll, next is Order carrying the fasces, and then comes figure symbolical of the light of Learning holding a torch. Protection is illustrated by two forms, a male with a shield on his shoulder has his right arm around another figure whom he guarding. Two more figures complete this group, viz., Justine and Mercy, the former being a female blindfolded bearing the scales and sword, while Mercy is represented in angelic form with outstretched wings. On the extreme left and outside the column is single figure — Revenue.

Bath - Guildhall Reliefs
Central: In the middle an ideal figure Bath; the female wears a mural crown, in her right hand she holds the helm, and in the left she carries the sceptre. On either side are figures symbolical of Health (on the right hand side of the figure) and Peace (on the left hand). They are sitting on rocks from which gush out the mineral waters of Bath. Hygiene holds in her hand the harmless snake, while the other figure bears the olive branch. In the background is the temple of Minerva, associating Bath with the Roman occupation. To the left of the panel are figures of Justice bearing a large sword and Truth holding aloft mirror; and to the right are seen representations of Trade and Commerce.

Bath - Guildhall Reliefs Bath - Guildhall Reliefs
Right: The panel on the right also includes numerous figures. First comes croup of three illustrative of Education, showing youth being brought to the teacher. Hospitality is represented by two figures, one carrying fruit and wine, and the other a cornucopia. Recreation is illustrated by a maiden dancing with a tambourine, and a boy playing the flute indicative of Music. There is also an outside figure to harmonize with the extreme left, and this is emblem of Charity.

Northern wing

Description partly after Bob Speel's website.

Bath - Guildhall Reliefs
Sciences, Arts and Learning north wing, opended April 1896

Bath - Guildhall Reliefs Bath - Guildhall Reliefs
Left: the bearded figure of Zeus with a fistful of thunderbolts, representing Electricity. On the left is a male figure of Engineering with regulator, and then two girls side by side: Chemistry with her retort, and one holding a prism who would be Physics. On the right, another pair of girls has one holding a bulb, I think, thus Electricity again, and the other cradling a large sextant on her harm, thus Navigation.

Bath - Guildhall Reliefs
Central: Minerva, flanked by allegorical figures for int.al. agriculture, music, geography

Bath - Guildhall Reliefs Bath - Guildhall Reliefs
Right: allegorical figures for the arts


Sources & Information


  • Chemistry (allegory)
  • Education
  • Electricity
  • Engineering
  • Geography
  • Health (allegory)
  • Hospitality
  • Hygiene
  • Justice (Justitia)
  • Justice (allegory)
  • Law (allegory)
  • Lawson, George Anderson
  • Learning
  • Mercy
  • Music (allegory)
  • Navigation
  • Order (allegory)
  • Peace (Pax)
  • Physics (allegory)
  • Protection
  • Recreation
  • Revenue
  • Science (allegorical figure)
  • Trade (allegorical figure)
  • Truth
  • Zeus
  • Location (N 51°22'54" - W 2°21'31")

    Item Code: gbsw077; Photograph: 22 March 2019
    Of each statue we made photos from various angles and also detail photos of the various texts.
    If you want to use photos, please contact us via the contact form (in Dutch, English or German).
    © Website and photos: René & Peter van der Krogt

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